Michael Kane

Assistant Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering


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Research Focus

Citizen-centric controls, infrastructure automation; community resilience; grid-interactive efficient buildings; sustainability


Michael Kane is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University where his research and teaching focus on automation in the built environment and how people interact with automated systems. Prior to joining Northeastern, he worked as a fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy, where he identified new technology development opportunities for control of civil energy infrastructure, primarily in the areas of transportation, buildings, and distributed energy resources. In 2021 he received the NSF CAREER award.
He received the B.S. degree in architectural engineering and the M.S. degree in civil engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, in 2009 and 2009, respectively, and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
Dr. Kane is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He is a member of the IEEE Smart Buildings-Loads-Customer (SBLC) Systems Technical Committee. He is a Senior Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He is an Engineer in Training in the State of Pennsylvania.





  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 2014
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2011
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Drexel University, 2009
  • BS, Architectural Engineering, Drexel University, 2009

Honors & Awards

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Research Overview

Citizen-centric controls, infrastructure automation; community resilience; grid-interactive efficient buildings; sustainability

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • T. Abuimara, B.W. Hobson, H.B. Gunay, W. O’Brien, M.B. Kane, Current state and future challenges in building management: practitioner interviews and a literature review, Journal of Building Engineering, 2021.
  • Z. Afroz, B.W. Hobson, H.B. Gunay, W. O’Brien, M.B. Kane, How Occupants Affect Building Operators’ Decision-Making, ASHRAE Journal, 62(11), 2020
  • M. Schweiker, E. Ampatzi, M.S. Andargie, R.K. Andersen, E. Azar, V.M. Barthelmes, C. Berger, A. Jamrozik, M.B. Kane, et al., Review of Multi‐Domain Approaches to Indoor Environmental Perception and Behaviour, Building and Environment, 176, 2020, 106804
  • M.B. Kane, J.P. Lynch, J. Scruggs, Run-Time Efficiency of Bilinear Model Predictive Control Using Variational Methods, With Applications to Hydronic Cooling, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 24(2), 2019, 718-728
  • M.B. Kane, L.P. Jerome, J. Scruggs, Development of a Scalable Distributed Model Predictive Control System for Hydronic Networks with Bilinear and Hybrid Dynamics, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 32(5), 2018, 0401803


Aug 11, 2023

Clean Energy Might go to Waste if We Don’t Figure out How to Use it

CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane is the lead researcher on Whole Energy Homes, which is funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is the first study to explore people’s reactions to utilities controlling their thermostats in a residential setting. The study focuses on how to get people to use clean energy when it’s available by remotely adjusting thermostats. 


Aug 07, 2023

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU Pathways) completes 10 week Boston program

MIE Professor Ibrahim Zeid and STEM Executive Director Claire Duggan led a 10-week NSF-funded REU program called “REU Pathways,” which mentors community college students in engineering research.

Michael Kane


Mar 08, 2023

Training the Coming Generation of Grid-Interactive Efficient Building Operators

CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane received a $750,000 award from the US Department of Energy to develop a training program for vocational technology high schools and community colleges that improves entry-level building operators’ literacy in grid-interactive efficient buildings.


Feb 08, 2023

Building a Carbon Negative Future with Steel and Cross Laminated Timber

In a new $3.1M grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Northeastern Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair and CDM Smith Professor Jerome Hajjar will lead a multi-institution team of researchers developing a new carbon sequestration technique using cross-laminated timber composite floor systems in bolted steel construction for building structures.


Sep 27, 2022

Solar Decathlon Team Looks to Design Net-Zero Housing Properties

The Northeastern Solar Decathlon team was a winner of the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Build Challenge, a distinction that came with $50,000 in funding. They are working to become the first collegiate Solar Decathlon Build Challenge team to build a multi-unit, energy-efficient structure in an urban environment. The team is led by students Aasav Harania, MS in Energy Systems, and Ted Walinskas, BS in Chemical Engineering and MS in Engineering and Public Policy, and is advised by CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane.

Student Groups

May 11, 2022

Northeastern University Solar Decathlon Team Wins $50K in Contingent DOE Funding

Northeastern University’s Solar Decathlon team’s project won contingent approval to proceed in the 2023 Build Challenge from the Department of Energy (DOE) last month, a distinction that comes with $50,000 in funding.


May 09, 2022

CEE PhD Student Shows Academic Excellence with Receipt of GRFP & DOE iBuild Fellowship

Katherine Bassett is a graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering under the advisement of Assistant Professor Michael Kane. She is pursuing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering in his Automation in the Built Environment Lab, and will receive an MS in Sustainable Building Systems along the way. She is the recipient of […]

reflection of a robot on computer screen

Student Groups

Aug 20, 2021

NU Team PARIS Wins in Phase 1 of American-Made E-ROBOT Prize

A Northeastern faculty and student team was awarded a $200K prize as a finalist for Phase 1 of the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Challenges E-ROBOT Prize. In Phase 2, up to four teams (from the 10 finalists) will receive a $500K award. The team’s submission proposed development of a Precise Air-sealing Robot for Inaccessible Spaces (PARIS). The Northeastern team is advised by ECE Associate Professor Taskin Padir, CEE Assistant Professor Michael Kane, and ECE Distinguished Professor Carey Rappaport.

Michael Kane


Mar 15, 2021

NSF CAREER Award for Smart Thermostats for Energy Management and Occupant Comfort

Assistant Professor Michael Kane, civil and environmental engineering, was awarded a $763K NSF CAREER Award for “Human-Centric Automation in the Built Environment.” The project will enable the design of automation in the built environment that models human physiological and behavioral responses to changing environmental temperature conditions to satisfy competing objectives of energy management and occupant […]

illustration of mobile phone with covid on screen, faucet with covid in water, and covid in transportation as illustrated by railroad crossing sign


Sep 21, 2020

Civil and Environmental Engineering Solutions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and its Industrial Advisory Board held a series of panel discussions entitled “Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) solutions addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

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